Police: Man arrested after damaging inside, outside of Royal Oak church

South Korean resident charged with breaking and entering, destruction of property

Sung Won Lee, 30, has been charged with breaking and entering and malicious destruction of property after allegedly damaging a Royal Oak church on March 8, 2022. Mug shot provided by police. (WDIV)

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – A South Korean man has been charged after police say they found him damaging property inside and outside of a Royal Oak church.

Officials said at about 9 p.m. on March 8, officers were called to St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Lafayette Avenue, near Lincoln Avenue, due to a suspicious person inside of the building. When officers arrived, they discovered a 30-year-old man -- identified as Sung Won Lee, a resident of South Korea -- throwing things around inside the church.

Police say the man then began dragging a damaged religious statue out of the church. Lee is also accused of damaging an outdoor flood light, breaking four windows to the front doors of the church and throwing garbage and potted plants outside.

Lee was arrested and has since been arraigned on one count of breaking and entering, and one count of malicious destruction of property over $1,000. The charges carry fines and penalties of up to 10 years and 5 years in prison, respectively.

The man is being held on a $25,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court next on March 18.

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